What is ‘Friday’?

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When would you ever want or need a solo game, after all pretty much every one I’ve showed you has sold on the fact that it’s free. When would you be gaming alone and without the modern marvel of electricity with which to power your various gaming platforms? Well what if you were stranded on a desert island? Well funnily enough that’s just what we’re looking at in………………………………

In it you will be playing as the titular ‘Friday’ and your enemy the dreaded “D.W.E.M”, Robinson Crusoe who is here to disturb your peace and appropriate your culture. In order to win you have to keep the clueless, oppressive, white man alive long enough that he can be rescued or figure a way off the island you call home. At around the fifteen to twenty pound mark, ‘Friday’ is drafting game where Crusoe must compete against wild beasts, starvation and cannibals in order to thrive. Now despite the relatively low number of cards ‘Friday’ is a great game of choice. Each turn you draw two dangers from the deck and pick which one you want to tackle. The card will tell you how many cards you can pull from your own deck to try and match it’s point value with the option to draw more at the expense of food. This is choice number one. If you lose against a challenge than the difference in score is made up in yet more food. Run out of food and you lose the game. The second choice is if you want to lose.

This might sound a bit backward but it’s a key mechanic, especially early in the game. Each threat you beat gets flipped upside down and added to your own deck showing Crusoe’s growth over his time on the island as he learns from the challenges and from his man servant friend ‘Friday’. Once through the deck you take what cards are left and go through again using the yellow numbers over the green to tackle and once done you can go through once more for a round of the red before taking on the final boss. So you might want to save some that look easy for later rather than facing it head on now. You can take a harder challenge in order to get a better card to add to your deck and more importantly you can lose to burn a few of the cards in your deck and remove them from the game. This might sound backward but as I said Robinson is pretty bad at this survival stuff when he washes ashore and it’s up to you to get rid of some of these bad cards/habits as soon as possible. Though bear in mind that every time you get through your deck more flab will be added as Crusoe ages very poorly in a tropical climate with no living essentials like Wi-Fi and pot noodles.

You go through the deck three times with it getting smaller and small each time as you beat challenges and remove some of the flab on Crusoe and all of this will take you about twenty minutes to beat though be warned that this is one of those games that usually manages to wheedle another one or two plays out of you every time you get it out.

Now the game is hard and I think that’s not a bad thing for a game where you’re playing against yourself. Don’t expect to beat it your first time out and when you do there are various ways to make it harder. That’s not to say this is the only way it earns its price tag with decent cards, a ton of strangely shaped cubes and an art style that I shall call “unique”. That’s not to say it’s great as you are at the mercy of the cards a little too often winning or losing on luck rather than skill. Having said that this is a great way to get a solo game in your collection without throwing down more on an excellent ‘Victory Point Game’ in a plastic bag or delving into a heavy war sim like Phantom Leader or Patton’s Best. It can get a little samey but if you’ve enjoyed some of the print and plays I’ve been listing that it might be worth ordering this from your local game store because unlike some of the solo options you have on your shelf this is built from the ground up for you by yourself.

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